What children need to know about reading and writing before they can read or write is called early literacy.
As your child’s caregiver, you are their first teacher. The greatest amount of brain growth occurs between birth and age five, a time your child spends with you. By age three, 85% of the brain’s core structure is formed. As a child ages, the brain gets rid of weaker synaptic connections in favor of stronger ones. We can improve the strength of synaptic connections with experiences that reinforce learning that has already occurred.
In our Building Blocks to Early Literacy series, we will share early literacy tips for you to do at home to help your child get ready to learn to read.
Today’s Early Literacy Tip is: Focus on the Letters in Your Child’s Name
No other word your child learns will be more important than their name. Focusing on the letters in their name does several things to promote early literacy:
- It helps create a more personal connection to words and reading – what child doesn’t enjoy seeing words that start with the same letter theirs starts with?
- Focusing on these letters also helps with letter and letter-sound recognition which are also valuable skills on the road to early literacy.
There are many activities you can employ to focus on the letters in your child’s name: You can jumble up letter magnets and have the child point out their letters and arrange them properly; you can have a storytime just with books whose titles start with letters in their name.
These activities do not just need to be restricted to indoors either! The next time you are out with your child you can point out signs or text you may see that contain their letters. You can also combine an earlier tip and play a game of I Spy so they can point out the letters to you.
Again, your child’s name is the most important word they will ever learn, and you probably put a lot of thought into what to call them. Now that name can serve as a valuable tool to help your child on their road to early literacy.
To help your child learn letters and their name, check out some of our Library Make videos: